Mon, Jul

Will Karen Bass Run for California Governor?


AN ANGRY ANGELENO - Here's hoping she does.  Then we can get an LA Mayor that doesn't maintain the Eric Garcetti status quo.  Karen Bass really is Eric Garcetti's Third Term. 

Bass recently campaigned for Extremist Progressive Council Member Nithya Raman and helped her get reelected in the Valley.  Bass also stayed on the sidelines on Measure HLA (instead of explaining the 1 to 3 Billion Dollar cost to Angelenos), required Road Diets (traffic lanes and parking lanes taken away) for Bike Riders (who can sue the City if they don't get them), that will lead to Horrible Traffic and Congestion Pricing, tolls to use the roads heading into or out of Downtown or the Westside or during Rush Hour in a lot of areas of the City/County.  NYC just got $15 per car congestion pricing per day to go into Manhattan.  You can look forward to that thanks to Mayor Bass.  She is Chair of the LA Metro Board, which is pursuing Congestion Pricing under her (Garcetti wanted it too) after she already voted for HUGE Digital Billboards on LA Metro Properties, which will almost assuredly open the door to the return of Huge Digital Billboards throughout the City.  Digital Billboards are already coming to City bus shelters...too lucrative for our sellout local politicians.  It's all about the money; we're just helpless pawns. 

Will Bass Bail on Los Angeles after a single mayoral term? 

Gavin Newsom can't run for Governor again.  Who's running so far?  A weak field.  So a charismatic politician that debates well like Bass can fool Californians just like she fooled Angelenos.  If there's one thing to be learned from Eric Garcetti's political career, you don't do two mayoral terms in Los Angeles.  Then you get blamed for the mess you left behind and your political career is pretty much over. 

Bass already has huge budget problems and is about to eliminate a lot of City positions.  On homelessness, expensive bandages like hotel rooms are being used, while homeless people continue to stream in from surrounding Cities, other California Counties, and the Other 49 States.  The City is still not actually counting the homeless, using a three night guesstimate with volunteers instead of paid workers.  The City's politicians are still not discussing WHERE these people are coming from and as long as they pretend that they're not being pushed out of Skid Row or being pushed out of other smaller cities in LA County or traveling here from other parts of California or Other States (especially cold weather states), we will never solve the problem. 

So, who's running for Governor?  Toni Atkins, who represents San Diego in the State Legislature.  Maybe she's like Karen Bass: Charismatic, well-connected, and a good debater.    I know very little about her.  The Lieutenant Governor, Eleni Kounalakis, is also running.  I was not impressed by her in the past.  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is running, which is kind of a joke.  Former CA State Controller Betty Yee, touting her financial accounting background, is running...and the Southern California News Group immediately published an editorial bashing her.  The Guardian has a headline from yesterday saying that Xavier Becerra, current Health and Human Services Secretary in the Biden Administration, might jump into the race.  He was previously California Attorney General and, before that, he was in Congress for many years.  Speaking of CA Attorney Generals, Rob Bonta is expected to jump into the race. 

There's a Wikipedia article on the race.  Besides Bass and Becerra, Laphonza Butler (Newsom's US Senator pick after Dianne Feinstein's death) and Katie Porter (who just lost her US Senate election) are mentioned as “Potential” candidates.  And besides Bonta, Rick Caruso and Antonio Villaraigosa are mentioned as having “Publicly expressed interest”. 

The Big Unknowns: Rick Caruso


I think the writing is on the wall with Raman's reelection in the Valley.  It doesn't make sense for Rick Caruso to run for LA Mayor unless Bass bails on us.  He'll lose again.  Unfortunately, the LA Times Endorsements have been too dominant the last two City Elections.  And it looks like a lot of people (who were fed up) moved away and are no longer voting here.  If Bass doesn't bail, Caruso could run for Governor and end up in the Runoff easily because the others will splinter the vote.  He can self-finance.  He can also win because he's made peace with the Unions, established a large voting bloc in Los Angeles, and because LA and San Francisco voters are fed up with homelessness and crime. 

The Big Unknowns: Antonio Villaraigosa 

This is an interesting one.  Both Newsom and Bass owe Villaraigosa.  Back in 2018, Villaraigosa ran for Governor and lost to Newsom.  When Newsom was in danger of being recalled in 2021, no Big Name Democrats stepped up to run against him.  Obviously, people were pressured to not run (or promised things so that they would not run).  I always wondered what, if anything, Newsom promised Villlaraigosa so that he would not run.  Had Villaraigosa run, he would have easily defeated Newsom.  So, Newsom owes him big time. 

Bass also owes Villaraigosa.  He campaigned for her heavily in Latino parts of the City of LA, and this is a majority Latino City.  It helped her tremendously.  Villaraigosa was (and is) thought of fondly after the disaster that was almost a Decade of Eric Garcetti in power.  I did not like Villaraigosa when he was Mayor, but Garcetti and Bass make Villaraigosa's time as Mayor look like a dream.  I guess everything is relative.  I just wish Villaraigosa would pick better candidates to support.

(“The Angry Angeleno” is the nom de plume of Yuval Kremer.  Yuval is a Registered Democrat; a Cali-Camp, Harvard-Westlake (pre-merger), USC, and Loyola Law School Alum; and a former ballot candidate for Mayor of LA (failing to prevent Mayor Garcetti's reelection) and LA County Supervisor (ran against Sheila Kuehl, Katy Yaroslavsky's former boss).  The opinions expressed by Yuval are his and his alone (not those of CityWatchLA), but will likely be yours soon!)